Page 12 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
twenty-one volumes. On the occasion of his 75th birthday, the
late Robert Gordis devoted an article to him in which he aptly
termed him “Poet in Word and Deed” (Vol. 27). Dr. Steinbach
viewed his Jewish Book Council activity, which included many
years of editing
In Jewish Bookland,
as a labor of love and as
part of his lifelong effort to interpret the insights of Judaism.
When in 1977 he felt obliged to relinquish the editorship of
JBA because of failing eyesight, he was most gracious in wel­
coming me as his successor.
Here I must add another personal note as to the circumstan­
ces surrounding my appointment as editor. When Dr. Steinbach
announced his resignation, I was naturally concerned about the
future of the publication. I was told that a special meeting of
the Editorial Advisory Committee would be called to take up
the matter. However, I was not informed about the meeting
because unbeknownst to me I had been suggested as editor.
Shortly thereafter I was invited to assume the editorship be­
ginning with Vol. 35, which I did with a great sense of pride.
The successful uninterrupted publication of the Annual for
half a century has been due not merely to its editors but also
in large measure to its regular contributors and bibliographers.
In addition, it has benefited over the years from the expertise
of the many specialists who have contributed to its pages. When
the Jewish Book Council published its anthology of articles re­
printed from the Annual
(Essays on Jewish Booklore,
1971), it was
able to include over 40 items that were deemed of permanent
value. The selections were made by Philip Goodman, the then
managing editor of JBA, who was able to arrange these articles
according to eight central categories, thus indicating the wide
scope of the publication as follows: Great Jewish Books; Makers
of Books; From One Language to Another; Treasure Houses
of Books; and Bibliophilic Sidelights. Some of our most illus­
trious authors and bookmen, from S.Y. Agnon and Cecil Roth,
to Ludwig Lewisohn and Solomon Grayzel, are represented.
Much of the success of the Annual should be attributed to
Philip Goodman, who served as the able executive secretary of
the Jewish Book Council from 1944 to 1985 and as managing
editor during these years. His yearly reports in JBA attest to
his blessed activity and to the skill with which he handled his
editorial duties. We are pleased that Rabbi Goodman, who is
now is his 80’s, has seen fit to participate in our anniversary